standard 4: equality and diversity

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    Equality and Diversity


    4StandardWhat you need to know



    Equality and Diversity, Inclusion and Discrimination

    Equality is about treating people alike according to their needs. You should make sure that everyone is given equality of opportunity. For example, you may need to give information in different formats (for example Braille) or make sure there is access to a building for an individual in a wheelchair.

    Diversity can be described as difference. All individuals are different; the many different parts of a persons character and identity make them unique. Examples of the things that make up diversity are:

    Promoting equality and respecting diversity are central to life today. To provide care and support that meets the needs of everyone you have to understand what these terms mean and take account of them in your work.

    Age Appearance Ability Disability Job role Health

    Background Gender Family Friends Sexual orientation Religion

    Belief Values Culture Marital status.

    Inclusion is being included within either a group or society as a whole.Inclusion links with diversity and equality. It is important to understand someones differences so that you can include them and treat them equally and fairly. People can feel excluded if they are not able to join in with activities. Excluding people because of their differences is known as discrimination. All workers in health and social care must make sure that they work in an inclusive way to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to take part when they want to. This is especially true about their own care and support.

    Discrimination is action that is often based on a persons negative attitude towards others. The following can all lead to discrimination: Labelling Stereotyping Prejudice.

    It involves treating people differently because of assumptions made about a person or group of people based on their differences. Negative attitudes and behaviours exist in society that can lead to individuals or groups being oppressed or disadvantaged.



    Labelling This is to give a group of people a name because of characteristics, for example Goth. Stereotyping To have an opinion about a group and applying this to anyone belonging to this group, for example no woman can park a car. Prejudice Could mean to not like someone just because of the group they belong to..

    Equality of opportunity Individuals are provided with opportunities that take into account their differences and provide fair and equal access, that is to be given the same chance as all individuals.

    Some discrimination is on purpose and can be easily noticed. This is known as direct or deliberate discrimination. Examples include treating a person differently because of their religion or sexual orientation, and excluding people who use wheelchairs by not providing access.

    Other forms of discrimination can be unintentional or accidental and are not as easy to see. There may be ways of working in place that apply to everyone but may disadvantage certain individuals or groups. For example, providing food at times that do not take into account religious fasting periods.

    Ways of working that reduce the likelihood of discrimination

    You can reduce the chances of discrimination happening by the way that you work. As a health or social care worker it is your duty to work in ways that promote: Equality Diversity Inclusion.

    These principles should be included into everything that you do. To achieve this, you should:

    Respect diversity by providing person centred care Treat the individuals you support as unique rather than treating all individuals in the

    same way Ensure you work in a non-judgemental way. Do not allow judgemental beliefs to

    effect the care and support you provide Follow the agreed ways of working in your workplace to create an environment that

    is free from discrimination.



    Work in an inclusive way that sees the positive input that all individuals can make to society and to their own care

    Be confident to challenge or confront discriminatory practice if you see this in your workplace.

    Person centred care There are many aspects to a person that you must understand in order to meet their individual needs. The person is always the expert on their own care.

    Holistic The term holistic means to look at all aspects that make up a person. It means to look at how all aspects are integrated and can have an impact on each other.Therefore, we dont just view people from one perspective, but we look at all factors, including their thinking processes and the physical, emotional, social and cultural aspects of who they are. This helps to provide person centred care.

    CourageBe courageous to challenge or confront situations that you know are not right and that do not promote the wellbeing of all individuals.




    Valuing diversity

    To work in ways that are inclusive you need to understand and value the things that make people different. The care and support you provide must be specific to each individuals needs, wishes and preferences. It should be person centred care which builds in the likes and dislikes, beliefs and personal history of an individual to meet their needs in the best way possible.

    The Equality Act 2010 and protected characteristics

    The Equality Act 2010 makes it against the law for people to be treated unfairly because of the things that make them different. The act sets out how individuals should experience equality of opportunity and lists a number of protected characteristics that help to safeguard them from discrimination.

    Promoting equality and respecting diversity help to ensure that people are valued and have the same access to all opportunities whatever their differences.

    Protected characteristics Stated in the Equality Act 2010, they aim to protect these groups of individuals from experiencing discrimination. The protected 9 characteristics are: Age Disability Gender reassignment Marriage and civil partnership Pregnancy and maternity Race Religion or belief Sex Sexual orientation


    Your role as a health or care worker is governed by a number of different laws. You have already looked briefly at the Equality Act 2010 and protected characteristics.The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful to treat people unfairly because of the things that make them different (i.e. protected characteristics). The act also provides protection for individuals who experience discrimination by association with someone who has a protected characteristic.

    Every human being in the UK has rights and freedoms which apply regardless of their situation or characteristics. Equality and inclusion are basic human rights.



    The Human Rights Act 1998 sets out the ways that everyone should be treated by the state and by public authorities.The Mental Capacity Act 2005 is designed to protect people who cant make decisions for themselves.The Care Act 2014 brings care and support legislation together into a single act with a new wellbeing principle at its heart. It aims to make care and support clearer and fairer and to put peoples wellbeing at the centre of decisions, and include and develop personalisation.The Health and Social Care Act 2012 sets out to modernise NHS care by supporting new services and giving patients a greater voice in their care.

    Useful links

    The code of conduct

    Codes conduct or practice or set out the standards and values that care workers must meet in order to provide effective and supportive care. In England, the Code of Conduct for Healthcare Support Workers and Adult Social Care Workers is overseen by Skills for Health and Skills for Care.

    The Code of Conduct for Healthcare Support Workers and Adult Social Care Workers includes the following principles:

    Be accountable by making sure you can answer for your actions or omissions Promote and uphold the privacy, dignity, rights, health and wellbeing of people who

    use health and social care services and their carers at all times Work in collaboration with your colleagues to ensure the delivery of high quality, safe

    and compassionate healthcare, care and support Communicate in an open, and effective way to promote the health, safety and

    wellbeing of people who use health and social care services and their carers Respect a persons right to confidentiality.

    Wellbeing principle The guiding principle of the Care Act that puts an individuals wellbeing at the centre of all care and support.



    Strive to improve the quality of healthcare, care and support through continuing professional development

    Uphold and promote equality, diversity and inclusion.

    Challenging discrimination

    Discrimination is unacceptable and should be confronted whenever it is found, whether in your own work, or in that of others. Working in a reflective way is one way that can help you to identify if and where your own values and beliefs lead to unfair treatment of others. Reflective practice means thinking about what you have done, what happened as a r